A Short Buddy List
The Virtually Connecting movement and community would not be possible without the help of many different volunteer buddies who take on a variety of roles. In this section of our site, we would like to recognize buddies who have been especially active with us: those who were with us in the first part of our growth cycle, those who have presented on Virtually Connecting at a conference, those who have published articles or blogs about the Virtually Connecting experience, and those who have stepped up to take on leadership roles virtually or onsite. This page is always in progress as new people join us and more roles evolve as we grow. This happens faster than we can update this page and being volunteer run we don’t always have the resources and energy to update as quickly. If you have been volunteering with us for some time, identify with the description listed above, and would like to be listed here – please reach out via our volunteer communication channels to one of the co-directors.
Nadine Aboulmagd (@Middle East and Africa lead, Blogging Buddy, Presenter Buddy, Virtual Buddy, Onsite Buddy & Virtual Participant. I like to think of myself as a passionate, lifelong, connected, online and collaborative learner. I am also an Online Content Developer at The Center for Learning and Teaching at The American University in Cairo (AUC), where I help faculty with the design and content preparation of their MOOCs and blended courses, consult with them on their considerations of educational technology and digital pedagogy. I’m currently pursuing my Masters at AUC in Educational Leadership with a concentration in Higher Education where I research, at length and continuously, multiple angles in the areas of MOOCs and online learning. I blog at Here’s To Firsts.
Ken Bauer (@Ken_Bauer) – Latin America lead, Onsite Buddy, Virtual Buddy, Twitterati, Virtual Participant, Blogging Buddy. Ken is a transplanted Canadian, living and working in México for over 20 years as a professor in the Computing Science Department at the Tecnológico de Monterrey in Guadalajara. Ken is recognized as a leader in his institution in educational technology, innovation in pedagogy and is active in providing professional development experiences for his colleagues and staff. As part of the celebrations of the 70th anniversary of the Tecnológico de Monterrey in 2013, Ken received an award from the alumni association as one of the top 5% of faculty as voted on by past students.
Besides speaking international on flipped learning, Ken has been on the organizing committee for conferences on software engineering as well as education, is a proponent of open pedagogical practices and the chair of the board of the Flipped Learning Network.
Britni Brown O’Donnell (@) – Twitterati, Virtual participant, & VCePT Virtual Buddy. Critical instructional designer, constant learner and e-patient. I wear many hats, but it all boils down to always asking questions. I blog academically at britnibrownodonnell.wordpress.com, and health oriented at bestliaryouknow.wordpress.com. I design instruction for educators, and K-8 students, with Virginia Career VIEW at Virginia Tech. You can find some of my work at britnibrownodonnell.com. I am concerned about an information gap between the public, practitioners, and researchers. But I am more concerned about the way we approach knowledge and knowing. Content only goes so far; the way we interact with that content, especially in this digital age, makes all the difference. My goal as an instructional designer, educator, and participant in the world is: shift the way we embody and conceive of knowledge and knowing, and design environments that support that shift.
Robin DeRosa (@actualham) – Onsite Buddy and Onsite Guest. These days, I am working on Open Education. I’m interested in how technologies can help faculty connect their courses and students to the larger publics that surround and permeate our colleges and universities, and I am also interested in thinking critically about how these technologies can replicate some of the problems they are trying to solve. I enjoy working with students, faculty, librarians, and academic technologists to find ways to make higher education more accessible to a larger and more diverse group of learners, and to develop institutional structures to support more learner-driven approaches to curriculum. I currently direct an undergraduate Interdisciplinary Studies program at a public university in New Hampshire, where students customize their own majors and curate and create their own learning materials. I love working with VConnecting to think in new ways about how academic conferences can be more accessible have more impact on the larger public good. You can read more about my work at my website, http://robinderosa.net/.
Helen DeWaard (@hj_dewaard) – Canada lead, Blogging Buddy, Publishing Buddy, Virtual Buddy, Onsite Buddy, Twitterati & Virtual Participant. I’m a long-time learner in digital spaces, coming out of the shadows of my introversion to share in virtual communities. In my alter-time I teach at the Faculty of Education with Lakehead University in Ontario, Canada. I focus my teaching energies to digital and media literacies, critical digital pedagogy, digital storytelling, professional eportfolios and infusing professional practice with effective technology use. I’m a graduate of the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE) with an M.Ed focused on technology and special education. A portfolio of learning (My Renovations) was completed for the Masters of Educational Technology, University of British Columbia. I am a voracious reader of mystery, fantasy and all good works recommended by friends and family. I walk and wander where and when I can. Global travel is an infrequent event but always a welcome opportunity. I blog at Five Flames 4 Learning and reside digitally at hj.dewaard.com.
Christian Friedrich (@friedelitis) – Europe lead, Onsite Buddy, Blogging Buddy, & Virtual Buddy I care about the intersections of ‘open’, learning, teaching and the use of technology and I work with people and organizations who want to become more connected and open in their communication and collaboration practices. I am the Education and Science Advisor to Wikimedia Germany in Berlin.
I co-host a podcast on open education, where I get to rant in one of the most fun languages to rant in: German. I erratically blog at christianfriedrich.org and, in a previous life, I used to sell cars for a living. On Sundays, you will find me watching amateur soccer matches in Hamburg, Germany.
Lisa Hammershaimb (@merryspaniel) – Onsite Buddy, Virtual Buddy, Presenter Buddy, & Blogging Buddy: is an educator and graphic designer committed to creating online spaces that nurture creativity. Because Lisa believes each person has a unique voice and vision, she works to create structures that promote connection, enable access, and ultimately affirm all students as valuable members of a living community.
Currently pursuing her EdD in Distance Education from Athabasca University, Lisa is researching the transition of traditional graphic design studio pedagogy to a fully online format and the accompanying development of digital literacies.
When not reading, writing, teaching, or designing, Lisa can be found—accompanied by her tiny dog Ruby Joy—drinking fancy cocktails, plotting new adventures.
Sarah Hammershaimb (@s_hammershaimb) – Onsite Buddy: is an educator and librarian who is passionate about connecting learners to resources. Having worked in both public and elementary school libraries, she is a student of the access and use of information by learners and educators, and the role of technology in this process. Currently, Sarah is looking to further her education in the field of educational technology and instructional design, and looks forward to the adventures that lie ahead.
You can find out more about Sarah at sarahhammershaimb.wordpress.com
Whitney Kilgore (@whitneykilgore) – Onsite Buddy, Presenter Buddy, & Virtual Participant: I am a PhD Candidate at the University of North Texas and the Chief Academic Officer at iDesignEDU in Dallas, Texas. I have had the privilege in my career to lead the development of online programs for universities all over the world. I have developed and co-facilitated several Open Online Courses (massive is debatable) that provide multi-institutional professional development to educators who teach online. My research interests are in informal learning through online communities of practice and micro-credentials. I was very lucky to be a part of the pilot #et4buddy program during the #et4online conference and am delighted to serve on the editorial board of Virtually Connecting. I blog irregularly at whitneykilgore.com.
Suzan Koseoglu (@SuzanKoseoglu) – Blogging Buddy and Virtual Participant: Suzan is a PhD candidate in Learning Technologies in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction at the University of Minnesota. Suzan’s research focus is on online education with an emphasis on pedagogy and socio-cultural aspects of learning. Suzan has taught classes at the University of Minnesota on the ethics of online technologies, youth’s use of social media, and online learning communities.
Apostolos Koutropoulos (@koutropoulos) – Virtual Buddy, Onsite Buddy, & Virtual Participant: My name is Apostolos (also known as “AK”). I am an accidental academic, or perhaps a rebel academic (I haven’t decided yet). By day I am the Program Manager for the Applied Linguistics Online Program at UMass Boston, and an adjunct faculty member in the Instructional Design Program at UMass Boston where I teach courses in instructional design, online learning, and supervise independent studies. When not at work I read, I tweet (@koutropoulos), I blog (idstuff.blogspot.com), and I take photos (foveros.tumblr.com), and generally think about interesting things and questions posed by interesting people on the web. I am currently also pursuing an EdD in Distance Education at Athabasca University. Topics of interest include language, linguistics, open education, and games. In addition to the above spots, you can find me at LinkedIn (http://www.linkedin.com/in/koutropoulos).
Joe Murphy (@joefromkenyon) – Onsite Buddy, Virtual Buddy, & Virtual Participant: Joe Murphy is the Director of the Center for Innovative Pedagogy at Kenyon College, where he facilitates discussions on teaching and learning, and support instructional technology uses. He previously served as Director of Information Resources, and a Librarian and Technology Consultant at Kenyon College, and as Reference Librarian for MERIC Services at the Catholic University of America. (The last time Joe’s job title told a normal person what he did all day may have been in 1988 as a fry cook at Wendy’s Hamburgers.) Joe loves cooking and eating, and is thrilled to have found a job where a major function is “buy smart people lunch and get them talking.” Joe blogs irregularly about education at http://tweedyimpertinence.josephmurphy.name and tells stories at http://josephmurphy.name/ds106/
Chuck Pearson (@) – Twitterati, Virtual Participant, (infrequent) Onsite and Virtual Buddy: Associate Professor of Natural Science, Tusculum College in Greeneville, Tennessee. Your geek at large: long time physical science pedagogue, accidental biologist, social media ever-present, open pedagogy neophyte, quizbowl conspirator. I have a loud voice and I tend to use it; more than anything of late, I’ve used it to ask questions about how we prepare pre-professional students in the sciences for the next stage of their educational careers and ultimately for their professions, how little control those students have over what they study, and how the ideas behind open pedagogy can help them find a greater voice in addition to deeper science understanding. If you keep asking me questions you’ll discover my past background with failed institutions of various stripes and my concerns for the future of higher education, particularly in the Deep South. If you quote a pop song lyric to me I may well answer you with the next line. If you want to follow along with me online, follow me on Twitter or go to about.me/chuck.pearson and leap to other social media conspiracies and blogspace from there.
Paul Prinsloo (@14prinsp) – Onsite Buddy and Presenter Buddy: Paul Prinsloo is a Research Professor in Open and Distance Learning (ODL) in the College of Economic and Management Sciences, University of South Africa (Unisa). His academic background includes fields as diverse as theology, art history, business management, online learning, and religious studies. Paul is an established researcher and has published numerous articles in the fields of teaching and learning, student success in distance education contexts, learning analytics, and curriculum development. His current research focuses on the collection, analysis and use of student data in learning analytics, graduate supervision and digital identity. Paul was born curious and in trouble. Nothing has changed since then. He blogs at https://opendistanceteachingandlearning.wordpress.com/
Andrea Rehn (@profrehn) – Onsite Buddy, Virtual Participant, Presenter Buddy, & Blogging Buddy: I am an associate professor of English at Whittier College, and Director of Whittier’s Digital Liberal Arts Center. My publications include articles on Conrad, Kipling, Austen, and digital pedagogy. I have been a fellow at Chawton House, a recipient of an NEH Summer Institute Fellowship, and am currently Principle Investigator on a $750,000 Mellon Grant to foster digital scholarship and pedagogy. DigLibArts shares our work atDigLibArts.whittier.edu. Or you can connect with me on Twitter @profrehn. I also blog intermittently at profrehn.wordpress.com and am @profrehn on Medium.com.
Sundi Richard (@sundilu) – Onsite Buddy, Virtual Buddy, & Virtual Participant: Senior Instructional Designer at Davidson College, I like finding my way into conversations about the role of digital literacy, digital identity, and digital citizenship on college campuses. I work with faculty and students recognizing how their digital practices [can] impact their teaching and learning as well as their everyday life. My work is heavily influenced by ten years of teaching English in South Korea, the Czech Republic, Oman, and the UAE. I play bass for Glass Pocket, have made tons of Vines via @sadvine and share some of my writings and sense-making at sundirichard.com.
Patrice Torcivia Prusko, Ph.D. (@Profpatrice) – Onsite Buddy, Virtual Buddy, & Virtual Participant: I believe there is a sweet spot between the intersection of education and technology that will enable us to create a digital ecosystem that will produce meaningful learning experiences for students across the globe. I’m passionate about using technology to increase global access to STEM education and enable all students to have a globally networked learning experience. I’ve been designing, developing and teaching online and blended courses since 2001. I enjoy leading design-thinking studies to better understand how faculty and students experience learning in the digital age. My research interests include women and STEM, leadership and equity. You can find me reflecting on leadership, making women’s voices heard and what it means to be human in the digital age on my blog at edtechisgorges.
Wendy Taleo (@wentale) – Australasia lead, Virtual Buddy, Virtual Participant, & Twitterati – Being a Learning Technologist blends my career background in IT and more recently in Education. I support the Learning Management System and the marvellous academics that work at Charles Darwin University in the Northern Territory of Australia. Based at an ‘outpost’ campus, I have lots of opportunities to connect virtually to my team and for using various online tools for individual and small group training. I work in the digital and I’m curious about being human online, what analytics don’t say and valuing off-screen time. Currently chasing down expensive bits of paper via a Master of Arts in Online and Distance Education from Open University, UK, I still manage to jump feet first into way too many open education opportunities. Find my various forms of blogging at https://about.me/wen.ta
Mia Zamora, Ph.D. (@miazamoraphd) – Onsite Buddy, Presenter Buddy, Publishing Buddy, Blogging Buddy, & Virtual Participant: is Associate Professor of English, Director of the MA in Writing Studies, Director of the Kean University Writing Project, and Coordinator of the World Literature Program at Kean University in Union, NJ. Dr. Zamora is a faculty leader committed to encouraging lifelong reading and writing. Her passion for literature is rooted in her belief that reading and writing are essential to communication, learning, and citizenship. Zamora is a scholar of Electronic Literature (literary works that originate in a digital environment and require digital computation to read.) She is a digital humanist and she writes about how digital technologies are transforming education in the 21st century. Dr. Zamora is an educator who embraces #ConnectedLearning as she advocates for open networked education. She is currently launching a University Makerspace – a site for interdisciplinary campus collaboration and an outreach hub for students and teachers throughout the state.
Teresa MacKinnon (@WarwickLanguage) – UK lead, Onsite buddy, Virtual buddy.
Principal Teaching Fellow and CMALT learning technologist at School of Modern Languages & Cultures, University of Warwick, UK. You will easily find me online advocating #tequity and #oep because I believe in access to learning for all not just the fortunate few. I am a lifelong learner and language educator, fluent in French, I can also get by in Spanish. I chair the Open Education Special Interest group and my special interests include virtual exchange, open badges and transversal literacies and multimodality. I believe in the creative potential of humans to make a difference, reclaim the open web and #fixcopyright.